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What Love Is (2008)



Average Rating: 3.3/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 8

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 5,310

My Rating

Movie Info

Poolhall Junkies actor/writer/director Mars Callahan once again pulls triple duty with this battle of the sexes comedy starring Cuba Gooding, Jr., Sean Astin, Matthew Lillard, Gina Gershon, and Anne Hesche. It's Valentine's Day, and Sarah (Victoria Pratt) has just kicked longtime boyfriend Tom (Gooding, Jr.) to the curb. Now, as Tom's friends Sal (Lillard), Ken (Callahan), George (Astin), and Wayne (Andrew Daly) drop by to discuss the shortcomings of the female gender, Sarah and her friends



Apr 1, 2008

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All Critics (13) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (2) | Rotten (11) | DVD (2)

Shrill, abrasive, cartoonishly over-the-top and badly titled.

April 2, 2007
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It could be that What Love Is is what lovers of either gender can like, thanks to equal parts misogynistic machismo and locker-room girl talk, all of it tied together with just a little bit of cozy romantic reality.

March 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Gooding is solid in the leading-man role. He has some of the best lines, and he's pretty much the only character you could stand to hang out with in real life.

March 23, 2007 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Now and then there is something strangely right about films this defiantly wrongheaded, but What Love Is never rises above the leaden, overbearing qualities of Callahan's dialogue and staging.

March 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What Love Is overflows with mind-numbing patter, bizarrely delivered with the arch formality of David Mamet, with the net effect of being yelled at for no reason.

March 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Romantic comedies should never be this exhausting.

March 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Graphic-yet-boring rom-com.

October 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

In its own peculiar way, What Love Is is a testament to the redemptive power of words. Thankfully, Callahan knows to keep it short and sweet, lest his audience go mad from the noise.

March 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

A shrill cacophony of puerile clichés about men and women and sex, delivered in adrenaline-driven harangues and arrogant lectures. When the stage clears, all that's left is the unpleasant odor of all that hot air.

March 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Too wordy frozen stage play with Matt Lillard a spitting, screaming, out-of-control embarrassment.

March 18, 2007 Full Review

Audience Reviews for What Love Is

Mars Callahan did a great job with Poolhall Junkies. However, his follow up film, What Love Is, is a misfire. He had a really good idea here, but didn't execute it correctly. The dialog is very good. Callahan echoes David Mamet and Ed Burn type of dialog. The film feels like a stage play. He didn't need to do fancy camera work and editing techniques in the film. I found those techniques distracting. Especially the segment, where the actresses morph into strippers and dance. To me that was not necessary at all. Some of the actors are miscast, especially Cuba Gooding Jr. and Matthew Lillard. However, Gina Gershon, Anne Heche, Mars Callahan, Sean Astin, Tamala Jones, and Shiri Appleby shine in this film. I am hoping Callahan's next film will be more like Poolhall Junkies than this film.
July 26, 2009
Sol C

Super Reviewer

Good film, great performances. It felt like a play, sort of David Mamet-esque at some points.
June 7, 2009

Super Reviewer

I rated this movie already. Hmmmm....that's strange!! Well, this is a great movie/paraody that centralizes on various themes: dating, love, men vs. women, and relationships. Tons of laughter! Great cast! A must-see!
June 10, 2008
Leo L

Super Reviewer

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